Sunday, February 24, 2008

The Man and the Moon

We had a lunar eclipse last week.
I didn't get to see it, though, because it happened on one of those rare Arizona nights when the skies are cloudy. That's too bad, I thought, because there won't be another lunar eclipse until 2010.
That's also the year that I'll be able to get a driver's license again, although I do not believe the two are related. I just find that any reference to 2010 reminds me that I'll be able to drive again, which is a big deal only if you've lost your driving privileges.
I exchange letters with a couple of friends who are still in Florence West prison. One of them, Mark, is always asking me if I'm dating. He does this to taunt me, I suspect, because this is a seriously silly question to ask someone in my position. I lost my driver's license for three years, so I sold my car before I went to prison. I ride a bike now.
Am I dating? Consider that question for a moment. Do you begin to see the difficulty inherent in my position?
I mean, in the unlikely event that I could find a woman to consent to date a man with no home, no reliable income and a future as clear as mud, there is the the practical issue of how I would manage a date. I envision the conversation going something like this...
Me: Hey, would you like to go out to dinner and a movie Saturday night?
Her: Sure!
Me: Good. I'll be at your house at 7. Be sure to wear reflective clothing and comfortable shoes!
So, you see, dating is just not part of the equation.
Ah, but in 2010 things will be different. Maybe.
Of course, I'll be 50 years old by then. Half-a-century old. Half as old as the state of Arizona.
So I imagine another scenario...
Me: Would you like to go out Saturday afternoon?
Her: Sure!
Me: OK. I'll pick you up at 1 p.m.
Her: What are we going to do?
Me: I don't know. Maybe we could go to the orthopedics store and look at artificial hips!
So, dating is sort of a sore subject with me. I mean, I really would like to find someone. But, let's face it: It ain't happening. Get over it. Get a hobby. Get a pet.
So, please, let's get back to the original point, which is the lunar eclipse.
One of the things that I like about the lunar eclipse is that you don't have to have any scientific background to understand it. It's pretty simple. As the earth orbits the sun and the moon orbits the earth, once in a great while it winds up that the earth (or world, as I like to refer to it) gets between the moon and the sun. The moon, as I am sure you know, has no light source of its own: It simply reflects the light from the sun. So, when the world comes between the light source (the sun) and what it reflects off of (the moon), you can't see the moon. It goes dark for a while.
Well, if you live in Arizona, you couldn't see that happen to the moon last week. Like I said, it was too cloudy.
And I'm sorry I couldn't see it, because I sort of imagine that I know what the moon must feel like when that happens.
You see, a lot of people go to prison and find God there. Me, ever the contrarian, did it the other way around. That's why I say I sort know what the moon feels like during an eclipse.
By that, I mean I know what can happen when the world gets in the way.
It's a big part of why I wound up in prison, why I've been disappointed in so many relationships, why I find myself alone.
I let the world get between me and the light.
And in the darkness, I suffered.
So now, my prayer is to live in the light.
That's why, just last night, when I looked up in the sky and saw that big old full moon, it made me smile.
In him was life; and the life was the light of men - John 1:4

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